The Atlanta Hawks made a slew of moves this offseason to improve their roster, but how does their projected starting five rank amongst each other?
After finishing with a 20-47 record this season, good enough for 14th in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks set themselves up for a busy offseason. Having possessed the most cap space in the league, the Hawks walked away as arguably the winners of free agency after the dust settled.
With hefty contracts dished to Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, among others, Atlanta is clearly pushing to win now after missing the postseason for three consecutive seasons. These moves put them in a position to end their playoff drought with a reshaped roster as the 2020-21 season rapidly approaches in the coming weeks.
However, with a handful of new additions, Atlanta will need to piece together an adequate starting five to position themselves for a playoff push next season. They surely have the necessary pieces and no shortage of talent to do so, but time will tell how this reloaded roster fits together in the grand scheme of things.
As the NBA fandom anxiously awaits the start of next season, here is a ranking of the projected starting five for the Atlanta Hawks next season.
Starter No. 5: De’Andre Hunter
When the Atlanta Hawks signed 32-year-old Danilo Gallinari to a three-year deal worth an astounding $61.5 million, many presumed he would take over as the starting small forward. However, general manager Travis Schlenk stated that Gallinari would come off the bench behind John Collins at the backup power forward spot to maximize the big man’s success.
In all likelihood, that means De’Andre Hunter will stand pat in the starting small forward slot after a solid rookie campaign in 2019-20. Hunter started in all but one of his 63 appearances this season, having averaged 12.3 points on a .410/.355/.764 slash line, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. The 22-year-old’s continued development will be crucial, but he comes in at fifth in the projected starting lineup rankings because of the overhaul of talent alongside him.